Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Puff just finished meowing very loudly. He likes attention, has to sit on your lap. He's mean to Joey often, and once in a while Mama Cat gives him a good swat. He'd be a perfect cat if only he would clean his litter box.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Scientific Monday. Today I went out to re-visit the site my company has been excavating since last April. There is only about a month left, and the northern portion of the site has proved to be very interesting since the houses that are being found are a little older- some going back to circa A.D. 500-700 . You can click on any of these images to see larger versions!

Shallow pithouse.

This is a typical pithouse- you can see the projecting entrance on the right, and a series of posthouse inside that once contained the posts holding up the ceiling and walls. All of the white circles that are visible are as yet unexcavated features. They are marked as they are found during backhoe scraping- it helps us keep track of things as the site gets dusty.

Deep pithouse.

Jeffrey C. is finishing up a much deeper pithouse- one that is very nicely preserved with a lot of the lime plaster intact. The above picture looks into the house through the stepped entranceway, towards the back wall.

Entrance plaster.

There are impressions of sticks on the sides of the entrance way, with the sticks placed there over 1,000 years ago.

Stepped entrance.

The entrance way is stepped, and the hearth is right in front of it. Originally the entire house was roofed and there would have been a smoke hole to let smoke out of the structure.

Plastered hearth.

The hearth is about 10 inches in diameter and is made from ground-up caliche (a type of hard soil that develops here in the Southwest).

Jeffrey C.'s pithouse.

Jeffrey C. is standing next to the back wall- you can see the impressions of the posts that supported the back wall.

1000-year-old wooden post.

One of the wooden posts was still preserved in place, unburned. This is extremely rare, it may be the first time I have ever seen this.

Pithouse map.

Jeffrey is documenting the house through written descriptions and hand drawn maps. Later a laser imaging device is being brought in to document this pithouse in 3-D.

Roasting pit.

Among the many pits scattered around the site are roasting pits, which were used to cook agave (a type of plant- the kind they make tequila from) and meat.

Roasting pit, half excavated.

These pits contain a lot of rocks that were heated up and the food was laid on top to cook.

The end of the desert.

Of course the down side of doing these digs is to see the desert removed to put up houses. Here are small barrel cactuses that have been removed, as required by law, and stockpiled. In the distance you can see where the desert is being graded away to put up homes.

Well, that's the science lesson for today.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Best Supporting Cake:

Oscar Cake.

and the Oscar goes to Yellow Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream and Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache Frosting.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sorry Joey, but all your dreams are dead. Luckily, you are only a slightly unstable kitty cat who can't read or understand English, so this won't affect you. In contrast, Cute Down winner Brady may go on to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Roommate.

My house is freezing at this very moment. I have the oven door open in the kitchen to provide a brief respite. I should wander in and wash dishes, so that I can dirty them again while making a dessert for tomorrow's Rome watching soiree. I'm thinking a sponge cake or a genoise with chocolate whipped cream or ganache. Of course, on the "No Snacks, No Shame" diet I can only eat a teensy-tiny piece and then the rest gets taken to work to be devoured by others less concerned with body issues.

Joey knows the creamy goodness of heavy whipping cream, and once I open that container she will be in the warm kitchen meowing at me. Unfortunately Joey, all your dairy dreams are dead, too, since you are very, very lactose intolerant and I don't want a repeat of Wednesday night when I complained to Brady that my bedroom smelled only to realize I was literally lying in a puddle of cat puke on my bedspread.

Totally random thought. I buzzed my hair off the same weekend Britney did and Entertainment weekly didn't put me on the cover. What's up with that?

In conclusion, I don't really have a concluding thought.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cute with Homer. In homage, to my new favorite blog Cute with Chris, I offer my own version of the Cute Down.

Imagine me saying, "Who is cuter?"

Brady, a 33-year-old, furry, homeless bear.


Joey, an almost 7-year-old, cuddly, wuddly, formerly mental puddy cat?

Please vote in the comment section!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Post 1,199. Unfortunately, Tucson does not have a subway system or light rail. Sometimes, usually when I'm waiting at airports, I pull out a piece of paper and draw a map with my imaginery subway system. I invent names for the stations- the one nearest my house would be "Mission San Agustin" and the one nearest my workplace would be "Rillito." Up in Phoenix they are busy installing the first portion of their light rail. It comes very close to Adam's house. It will be fun to take a ride on it when it opens, whizzing past all of the cars.

I drive the trusty Saturn 4-door sedan to and from work, seven miles each way. I play a game- will I see someone I know? About two or three times a week I do. Tucson is still a small town, I guess.

My car is just a device to get me from A to B. I should wash it more, but figure I'm conserving water if I don't. The interior is grubby from dust and spilled diet Cokes and the fabric on the interior roof is ripped from past Holiday trees and other large items.

I didn't own a car until I was 30, rode my bike everywhere. But as Tucson's roads have become more crowded and people drive more aggressively or chat on cellphones, that isn't so safe anymore. I 'spose I could ride the bus, but have you ever seen a happy person at a bus stop here in Tucson? I haven't- everybody always looks grumpy.

If we had a subway system I could write funny stories about the people I saw. But instead I'll just write funny stories about myself.

Monday, February 19, 2007

How can you not love President's Day? Ohmigod, the slow build-up with the most excellent holiday cartoons. My favorite is the one where Rudolph goes back in time and meets Millard Fillmore, gosh the claymation is fabulous and when Franklin Pierce shows up I still get a little scared. I got up this morning and played "Hail to the Chief" while reciting all the presidents names in chronological order. Then I went to the store and bought theme paper napkins (James Monroe and Calvin Coolidge) for our party, where we played charades. I correctly guessed Rachel Jackson (everyone else thought it was Julia Tyler, so easy to make that mistake!). I wish every day could be this wonderful.

Honestly, President's Day is a waste-o-fuckin-time. I don't get the day off, no mail, no government services, not going to the stores to buy things on sale. So what's the point. And it is in February, who the fuck cares. Couldn't they at least put the day in June, when the weather is a bit nicer?

Other news, "No Snacks, No Shame" diet continues. Day 21- 203.5 (down from 212).

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Mollie hates to have her picture taken, she knows that cameras are pure evil and will walk away as fast as her 15-year-old legs can manage. So I have to trick her to get a photo. One picture, and then she catches on and turns away.

Mollie and Homer.

She wants her supper early so I give it to her. On the stove the lemon bars I made are cooling.

Lemon bars.

They look nothing like the picture from the baking blog.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The birds are chirping outside, spring is here. My tulips and irises are poking up and it is t-shirt weather outside.

Filed my taxes today. Hefty refund, I'm using it to pay down debt. The one luxury I allowed myself was this painting by Kyle.

2 blue birds.

I'm going to hang it on my study wall right in front of my monitor.

Jimbo is coming for a week in March. Activity planning ensues. A Furry Friends of Homer Dinner Party (part 2) will take place. Richard, who is not furry but is nonetheless adorable in every way, will be invited. A trip north to the wilderness of Phoenix and then a jaunt northward to the Grand Canyon. Jimbo and I would really, truly like to see one of the 60 or so California condors that are flying around the park. It is rumored that the park also has a big hole in the ground.

In other news, my "No Snacks, No Shame" diet progresses. Weigh in tomorrow. After viewing Casino Royale (opening scene amazing, Daniel Craig sexalicious, rest of the movie so-so), Frank-John-I went to Denny's to enjoy the bad service and I broke down and had mozarrella sticks, the first truly, utterly fattening thing I have had in almost three weeks. Surprise- I wasn't all that excited by them. I think that is a very good sign.

Joey wants to sit on my lap, and is head-butting me. That means, "Pet me now or I will scratch you!" so I guess I better behave.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The last two weeks I had to go up to Phoenix for work and drive by the Science Museum there. The museum is hosting one of the numerous BodyWorlds exhibits and there is an enormous poster of a body posed on a skateboard draped on the exterior wall. You can't miss it.

A German scientist has developed a method of injecting plastic into once-living tissue to preserve it- muscles, organs, blood vessels, etc. He is now making a fortune by opening laboratories in China where human beings and various animals are processed. Mr. Von Hagen currently has three exhibits ongoing in the United States. You can order t-shirts with disected human body parts through his website. My favorite is "The Heart was made to be broken" with someone's dissected heart printing in color.

Revolting. Disgusting. Ask me how I feel about this. Wretched. Pathetic.

How many people want their bodies or the bodies of their friends and family members injected with plastic and put on view performing some ridiculous activity (skateboarding, ballerina pose, running with one's muscles flaying off). My guess, not many. That is, of course, why Von Hagen has his body factories in China where the bodies of homeless people or poor people, desperate for cash, sell Mama to be turned into a very lucrative example of gross anatomy.

I'm not religious, I don't believe in an afterlife. But I do think human beings should be treated with respect and dignity, even in death. As an archaeologist I routinely have to excavate and remove human burials. They are always treated carefully and returned to their descendants for reburial. The idea that someone is making a lot of money off of Third World corpses amazes me. I wonder whether anyone seeing these "exhibits" actually learns any science, or is just going for the lurid, sensational aspect.

My buddy Brady went to see the exhibit in Phoenix. He says you can smell the bodies.

And isn't it ironic that I went to see Casino Royale last night and the movie included scenes at a BodyWorld exhibit. Tell me it is respectful to the dead bodies to have them appear in a scene in which James Bond sticks a knife in the guts of a bad guy.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

So tell me, oh smart-brained readers, what is your guessimate for the date George Bush orders fighter planes to bomb targets in Iran? My guess, probably sometime in early June.

I'm channeling the Great Decider for a few of those verb-noun things: "Gotta start getting 'mericans accustomed to the dangers of Iran's nucleer thingys. Gotta dribble out accusations from unidentified sources. Gotta get the fuckin' idiotic press to go along. Wonder if Andrea Mitchell likes coke as much as Ann Coulter and I do? Plus, if we bomb them, that means no troops on the ground, right? Nothing to worry about, 'cause all the other 'rab countries hate 'em almost as much as I do. Then, if we got to war against those Iraniacs, everybody will forget all about the fuck-up that Dick got me into."

Yep, early June, that's my guess.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Vince, who lives in my guest house, hosted a Valentine's Day party in his newly repainted casa.


I behaved myself but did have most of a piece of carrot cake. Delicious.

I like the ceiling.

Brian showed up and the two of us traded stories. We were like a pair of old ladies!

Time for me to go watch Lost.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

When I lived with my ex's mother, while he was in Amsterdam, Valentine's Day rolled around. K. had grown up in rural Virginia, and had, a lot of the time, a hard life. She mentioned casually that she had never gotten a box of chocolates for Valentine's because her family had been too poor when she was a child and her ex-husband had certainly not been one to do such gestures.

So I went out and found the biggest, most elaborate heart-shaped box of chocolates that I could find and smuggled it into my room. Very carefully, because K. was a notoriously light sleeper, I tiptoed out into the kitchen in the middle of the night and put the box on the table and then back to bed. Sometime around 5 AM, I'm also a light sleeper, I heard her get up and wander out into the kitchen and then gasp with excitement when she saw her Valentine's present. She was so happy about what was to me a small gesture of appreciation. K. is a special person to me, and we are still good friends to this day. Recently she told me that she still has the box stored away as a special keepsake.

I may whine about being single, but I'm really, really happy about all of you attached guys. So I hope you all have a loverly day tomorrow with champagne, flowers, chocolates, and sodomy and all that stuff. I'm going to celebrate by having a little piece of chocolate myself!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go vote for which t-shirt is best on Brian's blog. This entry will self destruct in 10 seconds. 10, 9, 8, 7....

Sunday, February 11, 2007

In two weeks I've gone from 212 to 205.5, so I'm pleased with the progress. Ten pounds more to go. Of course I made vanilla pudding from scratch today, for the first time, and let me tell you it was yummy.

Puffy wants a taste.
I behaved myself and only had one serving. I made chocolate coconut macaroons with the leftover egg whites and I did not behave myself with those. Tomorrow back to the "No snacks, No shame" diet.
Other weekend activities:
- Aeonflux on DVD- kinda pointless.
- watched The Departed with Frank and John. Very surprising ending.
- was surprised at the attention I got at the Venture Inn Saturday night.
- made roasted veggies and watched Rome with with Jim and Chris.
Coming up this week. Taxes.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Spring is here. Time for some clean up.

I need to borrow somebody's rogaine.

I need to give myself a haircut. A new shirt or two would be nice. The diet is going nicely, weigh-in tomorrow. I have good self-control.


Yardwork tomorrow, I can see the tulips, daffodils, and irises poking up. The cold that we had a few weeks ago was probably to their liking.

I've discussed my anti-man mood with Archerr. Since the evil V-day is coming up, I think every gay couple should be forced to adopt one of us single guys for the day. They should buy us flowers, take us out to dinner, and spend some quality time in a hot tub afterwards. Doesn't that sound like the decent thing to do?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

When I was in graduate school in the early 1990s a small lump developed in the front of my throat. It started out as a little speck, then became a pea, and within days it was the size of a grape. I went to the Arizona State University health service and they were perplexed. One doctor thought I had been exposed to tuberculosis or maybe had HIV. Those tests, anxiously awaited, proved negative. Another thought I had an infection and gave me antibiotics that made me turn beet red and extremely itchy, the band of itchiness starting at my head and slowly descending to my feet. And the lump kept growing.

I started having problems swallowing and I was sent to a throat specialist who decided that it was fetal thyroid tissue that had somehow gotten into the wrong spot inside my throat. She scheduled surgery. I was uninsured and nice Grandma sent me $2000. It is amazing how cheap doctors can get once you tell them you have no insurance. Overnight stay became outpatient. The nice suture material replaced with the cheapest brand. And so on.

On the day of the surgery my friend Korri drove me to the hospital. She brought along her camera and took a picture of me with a tennis-ball sized lump sticking out of the front of my neck. The day before the surgeon had offered an alternative diagnosis. Cancer. At that point I didn't know what to think, I just wanted it gone, since I looked bizarre and had to hold my head a certain way to swallow.

100...98...97...96... I fell asleep. A moment later I awoke in a different room and promptly vomited yellow bile. "Korri, don't take my picture," I said to her. We laughed. After I got home I looked in the mirror- I had a three-inch-long incision across the front of my neck. It looked like a second set of lips, sewn together with coarse black thread.

The surgeon had said it was some sort of cyst or a benign growth. The biopsy report came back merely stating it wasn't cancer. The stitches came out and the careful work of the surgeon prevented the scar from being visible, it is in a skin fold and you can only really see it when my beard grows out there.

A few years later my sister had the same thing happen to her. She went home from the doctor's office after she had told her that the doctor thought it was non-Hodgins lymphoma. Sister was too startled to ask what that was. At home nice Grandma Reader's Digest dictionary from the 1960s provided a concise answer: "Non-Hodgins lymphoma, a terminal cancer." Needless to say, Sister didn't sleep well. In her case, a real diagnosis was made after the doctor asked her if someone else in the family had the same condition. After being told about me, she said, "Oh, you have sarcoidosis."

It is a condition with a genetic component and my great-grandmother Maybelle apparently have had it as well. You can how much her neck was swollen up in the picture below. Everyone thought it was a goiter.

It's a strange story, the closest I have come to facing my own mortality.

Great-grandma Maybelle, back row fifth from left.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A week until my least favorite holiday (Thanksgiving is a the next-least). Blech. Single. No box of fancy-schmancy chocolates (not that I want any, I'm still being very careful about calorie intake). No flowers (not that I want any, the cats would just chew on them and barf everywhere). No card (okay, that would be nice). Remember, its the thought that counts and when no one is thinking, well, that's why its my least favorite holiday.

Maybe its because I haven't figured out the right craft activity. I could have a Valentine's Card Making Party. But then, the couples would come and make perfect cards for each other and the single guys would make mediocre cards and who but their mother or sister to give them to?

I think I'll just hold off on the whole celebrate-a-holiday thing until Non Denominational Egg Coloring and Boiled Egg Hunt day in April.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Meet my future ex-boyfriend Chris.

He has a very entertaining videoblog, Cute with Chris.

The copier machine repair man is wearing so much cologne it makes me want to vomit. I don't understand how anyone, anyone, can wear that much nasty smelling stank.

Monday, February 05, 2007

My computer monitor at home passed away yesterday afternoon so I enjoyed spending money on a new, larger one this morning.

Last week one of the local television station did a "news" story on gay men gettin' it on in the park. Woohoo! My buddy Jim has the lowdown on the down low and you can watch Ms. Jennifer Waddle get her panties in a bunch because, ohmigod!, those queers are gettin' online in order to get some. She spends some quality time discussing how Craig's List is a fabulous place to arrange cocksucking and other salacious thangs, but forgets to mention that it isn't just the gays posting adverts, but also those darn Lebanese and, amazingly enough, Heteros. I didn't look to see if there was a "reporter4reporter4sex" area on there, and if there isn't, well that's a crying shame. It is ratings month, I guess.

In other, unrelated news Chip, noted blogger Homer lost three pounds last week on his "No Snack, No Shame" diet.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Rambling thoughts. In the middle of the night I had a nightmare and threw my right arm out for some reason and pulled a muscle running from my neck to my shoulder. Even loaded up on pain killers it is agony to stand up or move. Sitting at my desk typing is actually one of the few things I can do.

Superbowl Sunday. Snore.

Looking through online profiles of guys in their 40s. Half of them say things like, "Only 18 to 25 years old." What's up with that?

I feel very lucky I haven't developed extra ear hairs.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Mary Cheney pointed to her belly and announced:

'This is a baby. This is a blessing from God. It is not a political statement. It is not a prop to be used in a debate by people on either side of an issue. It is my child.'

Sorry dear, your fervent support of the political party working most fervently and successfully to deny gay people basic rights, well that kinda makes any little thing you do, from what brand of diapers Lil Satan wears to what ultra exclusive pre-school Lil Satan goes to a political issue.

I wonder if Mary will encourage Lil Satan to join the military in 2025, at which time the War On Terror will be 24-years-old and still ongoing. I'm sure Co-Presidents Jenna and Barbara Bush will personally attend the ceremony in which Lil Satan swears to uphold the Constitution and the Signing Statements by which it stands.

I surprise myself at how revolting I find the entire Cheney clan. The only redeeming thing they have done is Lynne Cheney's lesbian western novel, and of course that is one of those things they wish we'd all forget.

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